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Food Pantry turkey giveaway attracts large turnout

Santa Clarita Rotary and Albertsons team up with the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry to spread holi

Posted: December 17, 2008 8:32 p.m.
Updated: December 18, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Rotary members unload turkeys they donated for the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry Annual Turkey Giveaway.

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Nearly 300 families lined the sidewalk outside the Railroad Avenue location of the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry along 4th Street and down Main Street as members of the Santa Clarita Rotary Club began to unload and distribute more than 250 turkeys the group donated to the Pantry for its annual turkey giveaway.

The turkeys had been stored by Newhall Ice Co. prior to distribution and were delivered via forklift. The pallets of turkeys lined the curb directly in front of the Pantry.

Families waited patiently as Pantry volunteers gave them boxes or bags of side dishes donated by local Girl Scout Troops or prepared by Pantry volunteers to complement their Thanksgiving turkey.

"I try to get here every two weeks. The Food Pantry really helps me, my wife and three children until I can return to work," said Paul Sutherland of Saugus. "All the workers here are the best. They are so nice."

Turkeys donated by the Valencia Water Co. and clients of Rod McIntosh Realty were also distributed this holiday season to clients of the Food Pantry along with ham and turkey dinners from Albertsons markets through local donations to the stores' Turkey Buck program.

"Our clients were so excited to learn that they would receive a turkey this Thanksgiving," said Belinda Crawford, executive director of the Food Pantry. "It's been such a tough year for so many of them. We've experienced a 60 percent increase in the number of individuals seeking our services this year over the same period in 2007. More and more families are struggling just to put food on their tables.

"It's only through the generous support of the SC Rotary, Rod McIntosh, the Valencia Water Co. along with Supervisor (Michael) Antonovich's office and our community supporting the efforts of Albertsons markets through their Turkey Buck program that many of our clients will be able to provide their families with a turkey or ham dinner this Thanksgiving."

The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry was established in 1986 by a small group of community volunteers and has been helping those less fortunate in the SCV for the past 22 years.

"The SCV Food Pantry is neighbors helping neighbors with the commitment that ‘no child in the Santa Clarita Valley should go to bed hungry,'" Crawford said.

For information about food donations or volunteer opportunities at the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry, call (661) 255-9078 or contact info@scvfoodpantry.org.

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